According to a story in the Kansas City Star, it looks like Republican lawmakers in the good state of Kansas are about to get a taste of their own judgmental medicine.
States all around the nation, especially Florida, have passed or are considering passing legislation forcing welfare recipients to receive mandatory drug testing if they want to continue receiving benefits.
When Kansas Republicans proposed doing it in their state, local Democrats found a way to turn the tables on them and make them go through the same demeaning process that they are forcing upon their less fortunate constituents.
Kansas senators tentatively agreed at the end of February to add lawmakers to the bill requiring drug tests of any welfare or unemployment recipient who state officials reasonably suspect is using illegal drugs.
“What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” said Wichita Democratic Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, who was against mandatory drug testing for the poor and unemployed, but requested that lawmakers be included in the bill if it were to pass.
Of course, hypocritical Republican Kansas Senators are calling foul against their Democratic peers.
Sen. Jeff Melcher called the move to include lawmakers in the bill “political theatrics.”
In response, Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley said that ethics are in the eye of the beholder, stating that the idea of testing welfare and unemployment recipients is considered by some to be political theatrics as well.
This is typical of Republican politicians, who want to drug test anybody that isn’t themselves, vote against any spending that isn’t in their district, and want to keep the government out of everyone’s lives except when they want to infringe on women’s reproductive rights.
The bill, SB 149, requires mandatory drug testing for any individual state officials have “reasonable suspicion “is abusing drugs while receiving state welfare or unemployment benefits.
This leaves plenty of space for discrimination, as the reasonable suspicion could stem from the recipient’s demeanor, missed appointments, or arrest record.
Who in the world is going to be in charge of assessing the demeanor of welfare recipients? Is this person going to be checking for baggy pants and bandanas?
Any recipient that does not pass the mandatory drug test will stop receiving benefits until they complete drug treatment and job skills programs. Upon a second failed test, benefits would be revoked for a full year. A third failed test would see them and for welfare or unemployment benefits for the rest of their lives.
In other words, Kansas Republicans believe it’s a good idea to take away the already measly government aid for all those that are already poor and have substance abuse problems.
How would taking food off a drug addict’s plate incentivize him/her to get off drugs? How about taking away somebody’s unemployment benefits? Are people less likely to do drugs if they are roaming the streets looking for elusive low-paying jobs in today’s deplorable economic climate?
Kansas Republicans and their peers all across America are either heartless, stupid, or both. Let’s hope that a bunch of Kansas Republicans fail mandatory drug tests so that they can be revealed as the hypocritical fools that they are.
Watch a video about Republican drug testing for welfare recipients here: